Sunday, 23 September, 2018

41% of Americans have to ask, 'What's Auschwitz?'

Erika Estis a Holocaust survivor lights a memorial Israel comes to a halt to remember Holocaust victims
Deanna Wagner | 13 April, 2018, 03:06

The Holocaust was a genocide during World War II in which millions of European Jews were killed by Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler, between 1941 and 1945.

The date also marks the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and former camp inmate Gena Turgel, who lives in north London, will recall her story, including how Norman Turgel - an English soldier who helped liberate the camp - later became her husband. The actual number is estimated to be six million.

Though 96% of respondents said the Holocaust took place, 31% believe a maximum of 2 million Jews were killed, well under the actual figure of about 6 million, reports the New York Times.

Indianapolis has paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi death camps in the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the statehouse.

Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans were unable to name a single concentration camp, and the number was even worse for millennials (49 percent).

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Only 41 percent of Americans, and 66 percent of USA persons specifically 18 to 34 years old, know what Auschwitz was, according to a study published Thursday by the Jewish advocacy group Claims Conference. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. More than nine out of ten respondents (93%) believe all students should learn about the Holocaust in school, and eight out of ten respondents (80%) say it is important to keep teaching about the Holocaust so it does not happen again.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the "alt-right" march in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017.

"Wanted to survive, we want our story to be told", said survivor Ray Kaner. "We must be committed to ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust and the memory of those who suffered so greatly are remembered, told and taught by future generations".

As the Claims Conference noted, the lack of knowledge of such a momentous and reverberating world event is likely due to a growing literacy deficiency in educational institutions, especially since the younger generation, colloquially known as millennials, know the least.

The survey found a low awareness of nations other than Germany where the Holocaust occurred: Just 5 to 6 percent of USA adults knew that Jews were killed in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, where 90 percent of the local Jewish populations were murdered. Respondents were selected randomly and reflected the demographics of the American adult population, it said.